Exam Question• In todays society we learn about crime and deviance largely from the mass media. Unfortunately however the image we are given is often an inaccurate one. While we expect fictional portrayals of crime- in films, on TV, in novels and so on- not to be an accurate representation, many sociologists argue that the image presented via the news media also distorts the reality of crime.• Using material from Item B and elsewhere, assess sociological explanations of media representations of crime and their effects (21 marks)
Learning Objectives:• To understand what is meant by state crimes• To be aware of examples of state crimes• To appreciate why state crimes are so serious• To investigate human rights as an illustration of state crime• Understand the different types of green crime• Be able to evaluate sociological explanations of environmental harm
Last Lesson Recap• What is Globalisation?• The global criminal economy has created an increase in certain crimes, what examples are there?• How is Globalisation linked to Marxism and Crime?• Patterns of Criminal Organisation are said to have changed due to Globalisation, the two changes are ‘Glocal’ Organisation and McMafia explain the two
What are state crimes? state organised crimeChamblis State crime is ….s ‘illegal or deviant activities perpetrated by, or with the complicity of, state agencies’ (Green & Ward, 2005)
State crimes are committed by, or on behalf of states and governments in order to further their policies• Genocide• War crimes• Torture• Imprisonment without trial• AssassinationIt doesn’t include acts that benefit individualswho work for the state (e.g. policeman who takes bribes)
McLaughlin identifies 4 categories of state crime:• Political crimes – e.g. corruption or censorship• Crimes by security – genocide, torture and disappearance of dissidents• Economic crimes – e.g. violation of health and safety laws• Social and Cultural Crimes – e.g. institutional racism What examples can you think of?
Example of State crimes Genocide Terrorism TorturePolice Corruption
Israel attack on Gaza strip Use of white phosphorous
Scale of State CrimeThe state’s power enables it to commit largescale crimes with widespread victimisation e.g.in Cambodia between 1975 and 1978, theKhmer Rouge government killed up to a fifth ofthe countrys entire population“Great power and great crimes are inseparable.” (Michalowski & Kramer, 2006
Scale of State Crime What link to Marxism• The state’s power means it can conceal its crimes or evade punishment more easily• Principle of National Sovereignty makes it difficult for external authorities (e.g. UN) to intervene or apply international conventions against genocide, war crimes etc• Media focuses on state crimes in 3rd world countries – but avoids reporting on such crimes in UK and USA.
The state is the source of lawState’s role is to define what is criminal. They manage thecriminal justice process and prosecute offenders.State crime can undermine the system of justice…’abovethe law’.It’s power to make the law means that it can avoid itsown harmful actions being defined as criminal e.g. NaziGermany sterilising disabled peopleIt can also use the criminal justice system to control andpersecute it’s enemies.
Human Rights & State Crime• State crime can be examined through the notion of human rights.• There is no agreed list of human rights most definitions include natural rights e.g. right to life & liberty, and civil rights e.g. right to vote, fair trial, education• A right is an entitlement and acts as a protection against the power of the state over an individual• Right to fair trial means the state cannot imprison a person without due process of law
How can states violate human rights.(include arguments from Schwendlingers and Cohen)
Crime as the violation of human rights• Critical Criminologists (Schwendinger) argue that we should define crime in terms of the violation of basic human rights, rather than the breaking of legal rules. States that deny individuals human rights must be regarded as criminal• States that practice imperialism, racism or sexism, or inflict economic exploitation on their citizens are committing crimes• The state can be seen as a perpetrator of crime and not simply as the authority that defines and punishes crime
State crime in Iraq• Saddham Hussein concentrated power in a small circle of relatives and cronies. The loyalty of security services was secured by material benefits and blackmail rather than ideological belief.• During Hussein’s regime, torture, extra- judicial executions, inhuman punishments, war crimes and genocide were rife, and accepted at the highest levels of government despite Iraq being a signatory of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Torture in Iraq• Mass executions of Shi’ite Arabs (some involved in the 1991 uprising) took place at Abu Graib and Al Radwaniyah prisons in 1993. Some members of Saddam’s ruling family had their own private torture chambers, employing eye gouging, piercing of hands by drills, rape, acid baths, amputation of ears, branding of foreheads etc. Hundreds of thousands of Kurds and Shias are said to have disappeared.
TortureTorture is a form ofstate crime perpetuatedin every known nation, ifthe term is interpretedto include mental aswell as physicalsuffering imposed bystate officials to obtaininformation.
Abuse of women in Darfur• Darfuri women, after an assault on their village, are systematically raped, taken into captivity, and sold or given into sexual slavery. They can be held as slaves for a week, often repeatedly gang raped by militiamen and soldiers, or they can be married off under coercive marriage laws to friends of the Sudanese Armed Forces as far away as Khartoum.
Child abuse in Darfur• Children are often recruited as agricultural workers and sex workers and as domestic workers in Khartoum. According to both the UN and Human Rights Watch, all armed parties in Darfur, including the rebels, were involved in recruiting child soldiers.• "In Darfur, the Government of Sudan has not only failed in its responsibility to protect its own citizens from human rights violations, but it also bears a direct responsibility for many of the abuses which have taken place.“• http://www.standnow.org/blog/slavery-darfur-report-darfur- consortium
Ethnic cleansing • Non-Arab civilians are targeted for attack and abduction by government- supported Janjaweed militias and the Sudanese Army based on their belonging to this perceived ethnic group. The abduction and enslavement is systematic and government-sanctioned – and therefore an act of ethnic cleansing.
Zimbabwe today• A dictator is able to impose his or her will on a nation when a number of factors apply. Institutions that should act as a countervailing force to the dictator’s power are either crippled or completely destroyed. In some cases they become an extension of the despot’s rule.• People are murdered, tortured, and abducted to instil fear in others.
Rwandan genocide• Between April and June 1994, an • Some Tutsis managed to escape to estimated 800,000 Rwandans were refugee camps killed. Most of the dead were Tutsis, a scapegoated group, and most of the perpetrators were Hutus. Longstanding tension between these two groups was brought to a head when the Tutsis were blamed for a plane crash in which the president died. The presidential guard immediately initiated a campaign of retribution.• The early organisers included military officials, politicians and businessmen, encouraged by radio propaganda. Soldiers and police officers encouraged ordinary citizens to take part. In some cases, Hutu civilians were forced to murder their Tutsi neighbours by military personnel.
Examples of Corruption reducing human rights• Survey in Uganda found one in ten children had to pay for primary education which is supposedly free (UN 2000)• Russian study found 12 million people lack necessary healthcare because cannot afford to bribe doctors.• Japan is exceptional in that urban voters have to pay for things that rural poor are given free. Extortion is aimed at the wealth only. (Bouissou 1997)
State Crime and the culture of denial1. Read through page 134 and 1352. Summarise what you have read3. Neutralisation techniques and conflict in Gaza act
• Green or environmental crime can be defined as crime against the environment.• A lot of it can be linked to globalisation and the increasing interconnectedness of societies e.g. atmospheric pollution from industry in one country can turn into acid rain that falls in another poisoning its watercourses and destroying its forests• Problems caused in one locality can have worldwide effects (Chernobyl disaster spread radioactive material over thousands of miles)
‘Global Risk Society’ and the Environment• Most threats to human well being and the eco- system are now human-made rather than natural disasters• The massive increase in productivity and technology has created new ‘manufactured’ risks• Many of these risk involve harm to the environment and have serious consequences for humanity e.g. climate change/global warming• The risks are increasingly on a global scale rather than local in nature, leading to late modern society as ‘global risk society’
Green Criminology• When pollution that causes global warming is legal, Is it a matter for criminologists?• Traditional Criminology says No & Green Criminology says Yes• Traditional Criminology- studies the patterns and causes of law breaking (however criticised for accepting official definitions of environmental problems and crimes often shaped by powerful groups to serve their own interests) – in the above case no law has been broken
• Green Criminology- looks at the notion of harm rather than criminal law. White (2008) criminology is any action that harms the physical environment &/or the human and non-human animals within it, even if no law has been broken• Many of the worst environmental harms are not illegal• It’s a form of transgressive criminology – oversteps the boundaries of traditional criminology to include new issues• Laws also differ from state to state (may be a crime in one country and not another)• Therefore by moving away from a legal definition green criminology can develop a global perspective on environmental harm
Two views of harm• Nation states and TNC’s apply an anthropocentic (human centred) view of environmental crime. Humans have a right to dominate nature for their own ends, putting economic growth before the environment• Green Criminology takes an ecocentric view that sees humans and their environment as interdependent, so that environmental harm hurts humans also
Types of Green Crimes• There are two types of green crime: primary and secondary• Primary green crimes are crimes that results directly from the destruction and degradation of the earth’s resources• Secondary green crime is crime that grows out of the flouting of rules aimed at preventing or regulating environmental disasters e.g. Governments often break their own regulations and cause environmental harms
Activity- page 1301. What are the four examples of primary green crime?2. What are the two examples of secondary green crimes?
Evaluation• Strengths and Weaknesses of green criminology arise from its focus on global environmental concerns• It recognises the growing importance of environmental issues and the need to address the harms and risks of environmental damage, both to humans and non-human animals• However by focusing on much broader concept of harms rather than on legally defined crimes its hard to define the boundaries of its field of study clearly• Defining the boundaries involves making moral or political statements about which actions ought to be regarded as wrong.
State Responsibility for Green Crimes• So called natural disasters are often made worse when societies are so unequal that poorer people are forced to live on areas of land that are prone to landslide or flooding.• Building regulations may be flouted on a wide scale and as a result if clientelism, so many lives are lost in earthquake zones.
New Orleans1. Is this a stateor individualcrime?2. How does thislink to green crime?3. How does this linkto theory?
PlenaryWith a partner, look at the following picture of state and green crime. Thendiscuss the following questions.... •Which picture shows green crime and state crime. •Why is it green or state crime? •Is it a crime in your opinion? •Why is it difficult to tackle such crimes?
Key ideas Traditional Green criminologyDefined as crimes against the criminology Less bound by laws but byenvironment such as toxic harm caused to thewaste dumping and If pollution that causes environment or people.deforestation. Green crime is global warming is legal Green criminology is alinked with globalisation as and no real crime has much wider field and sothe world is one single eco- been committed then called Transgressivesystem. Ulrich Beck reminds traditional criminology is Criminology – goesus that many environmental not interested. beyond traditionalissues are manufactured criminology.rather than natural. Environmental/ Green crime HarmSecondary crimes Anthropocentric is a human Primary crimesCrimes that result from flouting centred approach which Crimes that result directly assumes humans have therules aimed at preventing an from the destruction of the right to dominate nature forenvironmental disaster. earth:- their own ends. The State violence against Ecocentric view sees Crimes of air pollution.oppositional groups – despite humans and theiropposing terrorism states have Crimes of deforestation. environment asused the method themselves. interdependent, so harming Crimes of species declineHazardous waste and and animal rights. one is harming another.organised crime –illegal Green criminology takes the Crimes of water pollution. ecocentric approach.dumping.
Human rights Problem SolutionThe right to life, liberty States create laws which Herman and Schwendingerand free speech. make their actions legal (1970) argue we should and free them fromCivil rights define crime as a violation of criminal charges. human rights rather than lawThe right to vote, to breaking. States that denyprivacy, fair trial and Human rights humans their rights are theneducation. seen as criminals. This new approach has been calledThe social conditions Stanley Cohen – The spiral of Transgressive criminologyof state crimes state denial (1996) as it transgresses (goes Three ways dictators deny beyond) the traditionalThree features which boundaries of criminology human rights violations:-produces state crimes:- (criminal law). Stage 1: ‘It didn’t happen’,Authorisation – this works until the mediaobedience. New problem uncover evidence that it did.Routinisation – Not everybody agrees on Stage 2: ‘If it did happen, it human rights. Is freedompressure to continue. is something else’. from poverty a human right?Dehumanisation – Could states be charged as Stage 3: ‘Even if it is what criminals for not making itsEnemy is a monster. you say it is, its justified’ we members wealthy? had to do it.
Definition Case studies Eugene McLaughlin (2001)Crimes or deviant activities Four types of state crime:- Pol Pot – Leader of Political crimes - corruptionperpetrated by or with the Communist party or censorship (controllingpermission of state agencies. in Cambodia. Slave what the media says).Examples:- labour, malnutrition, poor medical care Crimes by security andGenocide (deliberate and resulted in the death police forces – Genocide systematic destruction of of 21% of the and torture. an ethnic, national or population (1.7 religious group). Economic crime - violations -2.5M). of health and safety.War crimesTorture State crimesImprisonment without trial Social and cultural crimesAssassination - institutional racism.The problem of national sovereigntyStates are the supreme authority Abu Ghraibwithin their borders. Nazi GermanyThe problem is the state is the source of A prison in Baghdad Hitler started the T4 –law meaning it decides what crimes are, Controlled by US led euthanasia programmanages the criminal justice system coalition forces. from 1939 – 1941.and prosecutes offenders, meaning it Accusations of abuse in 275,000 terminally illcan evade its own law. 2004 – 11 soldiers and mental patients charge and convicted for were killed. mistreatment.